As written about before on this blog, Belgians seem to love to troc (barter) for all sorts of things, and art is no exception.
Art Truc Troc is one of Belgium’s largest exhibitions of contemporary art, but with a twist. Instead of paying cash for a painting or sculpture, visitors have to trade a service, object or anything (but money) for the estimated value of one of the works on display.
The first ever Truc Troc was held in 1975, providing over 200 artists an opportunity to support one another and give the public a chance to discover new works. Then almost 30 years later, in 2004, this unique exhibition was recreated at BOZAR and has grown every year since.
Now in its eight edition (they skipped 2007), the concept has remained the same. Visitors place post-it notes next to an art piece suggesting a trade. The artist, present on the premises will decide whether to contact the bidder, negotiate a bit more or confirm the swap, on that same day or on another. To give you an idea of what to offer, trades from last year included a week in a mountain chalet, a trip to Marrakech, clothing, DIY, cheese tasting, exhibition space and even other artwork.
The first time I went to this event a couple of years ago I was very pleasantly surprised to find such a different, and rather democratic, means for buying art. The exhibition runs all day but at night turns into a party, with live music and a bar. Not a bad way to spend a Friday evening!
Centre of Fine Arts of Brussels (BOZAR)
23 Rue Ravenstein, 1000 Brussels
Friday, 27 January, 7pm-2am
Saturday, 28 January, 2-11pm
Sunday, 29 January, 10am-6pm
Images via Art Truc Troc.